Delegation is Crucial for Small Business Owners, Part Two

Written by Steven Rafsky on 8/29/13.

shutterstock_105384074-300x292Many small business owners start out doing everything for their business themselves. However, as a company grows, it becomes vitally important to delegate tasks in order to keep it growing, while also enabling you to have a life outside of your business. Padgett Business Services®, a financial services partner to small businesses for over 40 years, knows the importance of delegation in practice.

Part one of this guide covered the definition of delegation, why you should delegate and why it is difficult to do so sometimes. Part two will cover what, who and how in regards to delegation.

What Should You Delegate? Our previous blog post covered why you should delegate, but the next question small business owners or managers often ask is what should I delegate? You should delegate tasks that:

  • Are repeated
  • Are non-essential
  • Do not have short deadlines
  • Someone else could do better than you

Do not delegate tasks that are a mismatch for your employees’ skill sets. Also, work that is needed to fix a crisis is confidential or is a personnel issue should only be handled by business owners or managers.

To Whom Should You Delegate? The key to deciding who to delegate to is done through matching the right task to the appropriate person. Learn the current workload, skills and work style of your employees and, when you’re familiar with how they work and what they can accomplish, you will have a much clearer picture of what tasks to allocate to whom. Look for employees who are interested in learning new skills or who want to enhance the skills they already possess. Delegation is also an excellent way to prepare an employee for a promotion or to fill in gaps in his/her current skill set.

How Should You Delegate? Now that you know why, what and to whom to delegate, the final step is to learn how to delegate. Good delegation requires time and commitment from you. The first step is to clearly define the tasks you are delegating and then communicating them clearly to your employees. Be sure to state why the task needs to be done, the desired outcome for the task and the timeline in which it needs to be completed.

Give the employee the authority needed to make decisions in order to complete the task. Set measurable standards for the task and then monitor their progress through feedback and support. Once the task is completed, give praise and advice. Remember to allow different methods and working styles for the task. After all, you are handing over the responsibility, so you cannot expect an employee to do the task the exact same way you would have done it yourself.

Delegation, when carried out correctly, will give you the room you need to concentrate on growing your business. It will also develop your team’s skills and engage them more in your business. Padgett Business Services® has a proven track record of providing small businesses with the tax, financial and payroll services that they need. Contact us if you want to delegate any of your business financial tasks to us.

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Delegation is Crucial for Small Business Owners, Part One

Written by Steven Rafsky on 8/12/13.

shutterstock_144889660-300x195Many small business owners start out doing everything for their business themselves. However, as a company grows, it becomes vitally important to delegate tasks in order to keep it growing, while also enabling you to have a life outside of your business. Padgett Business Services®, a financial services partner to small businesses for 40 years, knows the importance of delegation in practice. We have created this guide to cover the why, when, what, who and how in regards to delegation.

What is Delegation? Delegation is handing off responsibility and authority to complete a task. In order to effectively delegate, business owners and managers must pair the right task with the right person (ensuring that the person has proper training to successfully finish the task), as well as to set performance expectations, give the person the authority to make the correct decisions to complete the work required, and leave feedback.

Why Should You Delegate? Delegation has several benefits to you, your employees and your business.

Benefits to you:

  • Frees up your time to focus on the important aspects of your business
  • Allows you to stop focusing on details and instead focus on more strategic work
  • Will reduce your stress levels
  • Enhances trust with your employees
  • Delegated tasks may be better suited to someone else’s skill-set, so the task may be completed better than if you did it yourself
  • Develops a successor to take over your job, so you can focus on growing your business

Benefits to your employees:

  • Develops employee skills and advances their own careers
  • Increases confidence, productivity, morale and career satisfaction
  • Makes them feel more involved in the business and increases their commitment to the company

Benefits to your company:

  • Saves money and time
  • Increases teamwork
  • Boosts productivity
  • Increases efficiency
  • Raises workers’ skill levels, which will boost a company’s long-term success

Why Is It Difficult to Delegate? Many business owners and managers have difficulty delegating work to their employees. There are many reasons for this, although they typically fall into these categories:

  • Control
  • Lack of trust
  • Time management

For those who find delegation difficult because they are too controlling, they usually feel that they are the only ones who are capable of doing the tasks right, or they believe that being involved in every detail of the business is the only path to success. These managers must remember that an employee can be trained to do a task and that their job is to guide the business instead. There is only so much time in the day, and a leader’s work should focus on specific tasks that guide and grow the business.

Managers who do not trust their employees need to carefully evaluate their team members. Why did you hire your team in the first place? Why did you stop trusting them? Can this lack of trust be rebuilt? Do you need to do more training to develop their skills?

Business owners and managers who do not delegate may feel that it is quicker to do the task themselves than it is to train someone to do it properly. This logic has several flaws.

  • If it is a task that occurs regularly, taking extra time to train someone will pay off in the long run. For example, if it takes you five minutes to sort the mail every morning, but it would take you two hours to train one of your employees to sort the mail themselves, you will still save yourself time within a month of delegating the task.
  • By not delegating, you create an environment of dependency. If employees are not able to carry out particular tasks and make decisions on their own, they will become disengaged and dissatisfied.
  • As a leader, your time needs to be spent in high-level, strategic tasks, and not in low-level details. You will be hobbling your own business if you do not delegate.

So far, we have covered the reasons why you should delegate. Our series on delegation will continue with the when, what, who and how of delegation. Padgett Business Services® has a proven track record of providing small businesses with the tax, financial and payroll services that they need. Contact us if you want to delegate any of your business financial tasks to us.

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Padgett Represents Small Business at Congress

Posted 4/11/2013
On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. the Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled: Small Business Tax Reform: Growth Through Simplicity. The meeting was held in Room 2360 of the Rayburn House Office Building.
The purpose of… the hearing was to receive testimony on several proposals to reform and simplify the tax code.  Over time, our tax code has become more complex and truly temporary, with tax relief being extended for one year, for months at a time or even retroactively. Taxpayers, and particularly small business owners, are spending more of their time and resources to comply with and adjust to onerous tax laws, instead of investing those resources and assets back in their businesses to grow. This hearing represented an opportunity for members to explore different proposals designed to simplify and reform the tax code.
Padgett Business Services is excited to have been the only tax firm asked to testify at this hearing on Small Business Tax Reform.
Witnesses and Testimony
Panel 1
•The Honorable Dave Camp, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee, Washington, DC
Panel 2
•Mr. Sam Griffith, President and CEO, National Jet Company, Cumberland, MD Testifying on Behalf of the National Tooling and Machining Association
•Mr. Steve Bearden, President and CEO, Linemark Printing, Upper Marlboro, MD Testifying on Behalf of Printing Industries of America
•Mr. Roger Harris, President and COO, Padgett Business Services, Athens GA
The hearing will being replayed online at the following link:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hclive15#/recorded/31251439
Notable Points in the hearing:
Panel 2 Starts Testimony: 1:00:00
Roger Harris Starts Testimony: 1:14:00
Please join us in making a difference for the small business owner!
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“Where’s My Refund?”

Posted 3/24/13
Last year 80% of all individual returns were filed electronically. The IRS expects 9 out of 10 individual 2012 returns to be e-filed this year! The IRS confirms that e-filing, when combined with direct deposit, is the fastest way to get a refund. Due to high traffic on the site, the IRS anticipates both the “Where’s My Refund?” tool on www.irs.gov and the refund feature on the “IRS2go phone app” will have limited availability during busier periods. So what should you do…..
 Have the right tax information ready before using any of the IRS refund tools. This includes Social Security number, filing status and refund amount.
You don’t need to check “Where’s My Refund?” more than once a day as your information will not change. The online tool is updated nightly!
To avoid system delays, the best time to check on refunds is evening and weekends.
There is no need to call the IRS about your refund; the telephone service has the same information that is available on “Where’s My Refund?”.
Relax… 9 out of 10 taxpayers typically receive refunds in less than 21 days when they use e-file with direct deposit.
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Last-Minute Tax Tips for Taxpayers Still Looking to File

Riverwoods, Ill. (March 19, 2013)
By Michael Cohn
As the April 15 tax filing date draws closer, millions of taxpayers still find themselves somewhere between putting the final touches on their tax return and just starting the process.
CCH is offering taxpayers who still hope to beat the clock with some easy tips for making the most of their taxes.
“Because of the delay to this year’s filing season due to last year’s ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and a lack of early answers pertaining to several specific taxes, many people may now find themselves rushing to get their taxes done,” said CCH principal federal tax analyst Mark Luscombe in a statement. “The risk is that they may make mistakes, or overlook ways to maximize their refund.”
Luscombe offers some easy tips to taxpayers on how to make the final weeks of tax season much less taxing:
• Take advantage of last-minute tax savings. For example, taxpayers can reduce their taxable income by as much as $5,000 or $6,000 if a taxpayer is 50 or older, and meets income requirements. Taxpayers have until April 15, 2013, to contribute to their 2012 IRA.
•  Get help! Taxpayers don’t have to go it alone at tax time. Either turn to a professional to help prepare and file the return, or try tax software that will ease and speed the process. These means will also help ensure taxpayers realize the full benefit of the credits and deductions they deserve.
• Double-check the income tax filing before sending. If information is omitted or a mistake is made, the processing of the tax return and/or refund can be delayed. Among common errors, check to ensure all Social Security numbers are correctly entered and that the tax return is signed, either manually (if mailing) or with an electronic PIN (if e-filing).
• E-file the tax return and use direct deposit. The combination of e-filing with direct deposit can mean receiving the tax refund in weeks rather than the months it may take to get a refund check in the mail from the IRS after filing a paper return.
• Adjust the 2013 withholding if taxes were overpaid in 2012. While many like the idea of getting a refund, a large refund may indicate a taxpayer is overpaying taxes throughout the year. By adjusting the withholding, a taxpayer can ensure he or she is not paying too much throughout the year.
Article Source: http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Last-Minute-Tax-Tips-Taxpayers-File-66101-1.html
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Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient_Protection_and_Affordable_Care_Act

The link above is an explanation of the new health care law as it is explained by Wikipedia.

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Full Health Care Law

Full Health Care Law

Ever had a desire to read all 2,409 pages of the full health care law?

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Small Business Saturday 11/26/11

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S. More than 200 organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.

For more info: http://www.smallbusinesssaturday.com/

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2007 Tax Refund Deadline Approaches

$1.1 Billion in Unclaimed 2007 Tax Refunds

Blake Ellis
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Did you forget to file your 2007 taxes? The IRS might have a nice check waiting for you.
Nearly 1.1 million taxpayers failed to file that year, and the IRS estimates they are entitled to $1.1 billion in potential refunds.
Half of those who failed to file are owed a refund $640 or more, the agency announced Tuesday. And it could be even more: The median potential 2007 refund for people living in Wyoming was a high $788, while New Hampshire residents are owed a median refund of $741.
“Some people may not have filed because they had too little income to require filing a tax return even though they had taxes withheld from their wages or made quarterly estimated payments,” the IRS said.
But Uncle Sam isn’t holding your money for you much longer.
If you don’t file your 2007 return by April 18, 2011, say goodbye to your refund forever. Taxpayers are only given a three-year window to claim refunds. After that, your money is scooped up by the U.S. Treasury.
If you do decide to finally claim your 2007 refund, remember that your check will be held until the IRS has received your 2008 and 2009 tax returns as well. And, if you owe other federal debts, child support or back taxes, the refund will be applied to those amounts.
In addition to a refund, some Americans may also be missing out on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps many low- and middle-income taxpayers.
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Top 12 IRS Red Flags

  

1. Failure to report all taxable income. The IRS receives copies of all 1099s and W-2s and computers match these forms with the income shown on the return. A mismatch is a red flag!.
2. Returns claiming the home-buyer credit. First-time homebuyers and longtime homeowners who claimed the homebuyer credit should be prepared for IRS scrutiny. Submit proper documentation; first-time homebuyers should attach a copy of their settlement statement and longtime homeowners should attach documents showing prior ownership, for example records of property tax and insurance coverage. All claims for this credit are being screened. Remember, the credit is required to be recaptured if the home is sold within three years for homes bought in 2009 or 2010 and within 15 years for homes bought before 2009.
3. Claiming large charitable deductions. Charitable deductions that are disproportionately large compared to reported income, raise a red flag. Reminders: Get an appraisal for donations of valuable property and file Form 8283 for donations over $500.
4. Home office deduction. History has shown that many people who claim a home office don’t meet all the requirements and others may overstate the benefit. In order to take this write-off, the space must be used exclusively and on a regular basis as your principal place of business.
5. Business meals, travel and entertainment. Schedule C filers should be careful when claiming large deductions for meals, travel and entertainment. To qualify for meals or entertainment deductions, detailed records must be kept including the amount, place, persons attending, business purpose and nature of discussion or meeting. Also, receipts are required for expenditures over $75 or any expense for lodging while traveling away from home.
6. Claiming 100% business use of vehicle. It is extremely rare that an individual actually uses a vehicle 100% of the time for business, especially if no other vehicle is available for personal use. Keep detailed mileage logs! Also, be sure not to include actual auto expenses when using the standard mileage rates.
7. Claiming a loss for a hobby activity. It’s a red flag if a Schedule C loss-generating activity sounds like a hobby (horse breeding, car racing). The activity should be run in a business-like manner and for a profit!
8. Cash businesses. Cash-intensive businesses, for example taxi drivers, car washes, bars, hair salons, and restaurants, are targets since they are less likely to accurately report all of their taxable income.
9. Failure to report a foreign bank account. The IRS is intensely interested in people with offshore accounts, especially those in tax havens. Failure to report a foreign bank account can lead to severe penalties. Proper reporting is crucial!
10. Engaging in currency transactions. The IRS receives reports of cash transactions in excess of $10,000 involving banks, casinos, car dealers and other businesses, plus suspicious activity reports from banks and disclosures of foreign accounts. Those making large cash purchases or deposits should be prepared for IRS scrutiny.
11. Math errors. One of the most common reasons for an IRS notice is the simple mathematical mistake on the tax return. Take time to ensure all your calculations are correct to remain under the radar!
12. Taking higher-than-average deductions. Deductions disproportionately large compared to income is a common red flag. Be sure to have proper documentation!
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